You won’t find hunting listed in too many Caribbean travel brochures among the myriad of activities for vacationers to enjoy in the islands. Then again, you should never find this colorful creature in our waters either.
This is a lionfish.
Exotic? Without a doubt.
The allure of the lionfish’s looks, however, are far out-weighed by its devastating impact on marine environments where it’s not a native species, like the waters of the Caribbean.
How bad is this venomous, invasive beauty? According to Molly Buckley, owner of SCUBA Dive Shop back home in St. Croix, lionfish “…can decimate a Caribbean reef in just weeks. They eat non-stop and can lay up to 30,000 eggs. They are a huge threat to the Caribbean and we are trying to stop them while their population is manageable.”
Now, thanks to an innovative new package from our friends at Hotel Caravelle, the “we” Molly refers to can also include you! Dig this: the new Caribbean Lionfish Safari package invites volunteer divers to engage in an underwater search and destroy mission to eradicate the lionfish menace!
The hunt is done in conjunction with the Caribbean Oceanic Restoration & Education (CORE) foundation, so it’s not quite the underwater Wild West free-for-all you may be envisioning. Still, it sounds like fun as you’ll enjoy some awesome dives along the way toward helping to safeguard St. Croix’s undersea treasures.
The four-day/three-night package includes four safari dives, hotel accommodations, daily breakfast, and all taxes and service charges for just $517 per-person. The rate is based on double occupancy (bring a friend), and the deal is good through December 15, 2011, so you have plenty of time to take advantage.
For reservations, click here or call Hotel Caravelle at 800-524-0410.
* The information in this story was accurate at the time of publishing. All rates and specials are subject to change at the travel provider’s discretion.